306 During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Ward Brothers had time to experiment with the style of their de- coys and to accept custom orders. Colonel Albanus Phillips (1871-1949) of Cambridge, Maryland made his fortune in the food canning business. South of his home he acquired several square miles of Chesapeake Bay waterfront land and formed one the finest hunting camps in the state. In 1921, the Bishops Head Club, was formed and through the years was said to have hosted Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and was frequented by Walter P. Chrys- ler, founder of the automobile company that bore his name. Admiral Byrd was also a frequent visitor- as the Colonel was a patron of his Antarctic Expedition - for which Byrd named an Antarctic Mountain chain - the Phillips Moun- tains. Several other local businessmen and family members were also members. The Colonel approached the Ward Brothers about making an exceptional rig of duck and goose decoys for his club. The Club had previously used live decoys but impending legislation was going to end that practice. The Colonel wanted his decoys to be the Brothers finest work, and to display characteristics he preferred, which would be unique to his Club’s decoys. THE WARD BROTHERS AND THE BISHOP’S HEAD DECOYS Lemuel T. Ward (1896-1983) and Stephen (1895-1976) Crisfield, MD The Bishops Head Club decoys were crafted from these unique patterns that were a collaboration of Phillips and the Wards. The decoys display wonderfully carved and painted heads, with extra detail added to the bill carving. The bodies exhibit high backs and elevated tails, that made them more pronounced in the Club’s tidal pool adjacent to the Chesapeake. The amazing result was that each decoy exhibited its own unique personality, when most Chesa- peake decoy maker’s were making carbon copies of their decoys. This rig of decoys seemed to replace the Bishop Head Club’s individual live decoys in painted wood. The greatest decoy carvers of this time, Crowell and the Wards made their finest decoys for their wealthiest customers and Colonel Albanus Phillips was one of the wealthiest men on the Eastern Shore. This year a pair of widgeon decoys made by the Wards for Phillips’ Bishop Head Club brought over $200,000.00 at public auction. The original paint exhibited on this pair of black decoys is in the same great condition as the widgeon were found. Both pairs of decoys also exhibited wear from handling at the point that their delicate necks were joined to their ro- bust cedar bodies. 94 1194263 text.indd 94 6/20/19 11:49 AM 1194263 text_094 Page 94 28-Jun-19 Cyan Magenta Yellow Black